March 10, 2013


Hamas chief evokes Arab Spring in push to lead all Palestinians (Paul McGeough, 3/02/13, Sydney Morning Herald)

THE Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas is planning to install its controversial chief, Khalid Mishal, as leader of all the Palestinians.

In the wake of the Arab Spring, Hamas is banking on a surge of regional support for Islamism to move, Mr Mishal to the top of the Palestinian pile, possibly as leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation. [...]

Speaking with a new, almost triumphalist air, Mr Mishal argued: ''The Arab Spring implies the beginning of a tilt in the balance of power towards the Palestinian position, and international and regional actors are being convinced of the importance of Hamas as a player. The imbalance of the past is being corrected.'' [...]

Mr Mishal has no doubt about the meaning of the revolutions that have shaken the Arab world since the end of 2010: ''Foreign powers that are keen to preserve their interests in the region will have to please the emerging regimes, instead of behaving as if they are of no moment.''

And of the new governments in the region, he added: ''It is important to note that these new rulers know that they are no longer free to behave, to act and to decide as they like personally ... they know the people expect them to serve their best interests.''

Assessing its performance against the perceived failure of Fatah's embrace of a peace process based on the Oslo Accords, and brimming with confidence after surviving the Israeli military's Operation Pillar of Defence late last year, Hamas claims it has proved the viability of armed resistance and is ready to share once more in leadership and decision-making with the other Palestinian factions.

A senior figure in the movement said: ''Hamas is planning and preparing and building to accomplish all this. And if the people eventually have an opportunity to democratically elect the leadership, then Hamas will be in a position to win their hearts and minds.''

It's a simple matter of the self-determination of a nation.

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Posted by at March 10, 2013 9:48 AM

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